Providence Police announce the kick-off of a collaborative effort between law enforcement and members of clergy throughout the city by starting a faith-based civilian police academy. Members of the Providence Police Department gathered with the selected members of the faith-based community yesterday evening for the first of four sessions. Topics to be covered include best practices, policies and procedures, history of policing and use-of-force. Participants will also learn more about the Office of Professional Responsibility (O.P.R), whose officers are accountable for the investigation of complaints brought before police officers. Learning about the O.P.R will enable the group to better understand the police complaint process and bring that information back to inform their parishioners. This program is an extension of our Community Policing model, which will also be a highlighted portion of the training. This program will be condensed into three classroom sessions and a ride-along before graduation.
In 2016, the Providence Police Department Training Division held the first ever Citizens Police Academy, which proved to be extremely successful for both police and the community by strengthening and enhancing relationships. Participants were given a better understanding of the workings of law enforcement while at the same time given the opportunity to offer feedback for how we can improve going forward.
“As we begin the New Year, we will continue to work hand-in-hand with the members of clergy to build and maintain relationships and a sense of trust,” said Colonel Clements. “It is crucial in today’s society that the line of communication is open between the community and police and this faith-based civilian academy serves as a great resource to do so.”
This group of 17 clergy members was selected by Colonel Clements and Reverend Israel Mercedes, Executive Director of Multi-Service Center for All, Inc. This will be the first in a series of trainings which will target specific denominations, administered by the PPD Training Division as part of a long-term plan. The goal is to have every denomination and faith from our city be represented through a civilian police academy, to better bridge the gap between the community and the police.